Slideshow Secrets

As I thought about the tutorial for today, I pondered doing a quick set of tips for Photoshop, like CTRL+J for a duplicate late, CTRL=ALT+SHift+E to stamp all visible layers on to a new layer, and other such trinkets.  While debating which ones to include I was continuing the process of winnowing down the last of my photo magazines to just the articles I wanted to keep.   I was also thinking that perhaps a subject would come to me that could add a new dimension to the blog, when as luck would have it – the subject came to me.

From back in October of 2006 – nearly two years ago, I saw an article in PCPhoto that took a look at tips for making great slideshows.  Written by Chuck Summers, it reminded me of the days of yore when my dad would crank up a slide projector to have us watch slideshows of ourselves in Florida, the Grand Canyon, and other family adventures.  Well, the digital age is most definitely upon us, and one area I’ve not gotten into much is that of slideshows.

Chuck did a great job with this article, and I’ve condensed it down here to the nuts and bolts of each tip (twelve total, which makes for great alliteration – it pains me to dodge the obvious usage!)  Anyway, here’s his 12 Slideshow Tips:

  1. Determine the Theme and Purpose of Your Show
  2. Set a length
  3. Methodically edit your images
  4. Maximize image effectiveness
  5. Prep images
  6. Set Image Order
  7. Determine transitions
  8. Title Slides
  9. Choose music to set the mood
  10. Time the Presentation
  11. Preview, Evaluate and Revise
  12. Test Projection Needs

While very informative, and logical in layout (I like logic!), what the article did not present is software recommendations.  I’ve read various bits and pieces around but have not had reason to delve into it thus far.  However, with a cross country move coming up, I thought it might be fun to take images that capture the trek from the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains and compile them into a slideshow when done.

To do that though, I need some software that is designed for slideshows.  I know Photoshop and LR can do these functions, but as an old hat, I like a specially designed piece of software for each function.  Thus, I can’t help but wonder what would be the best software to accomplish these ends.  I recall Proshow Gold as a name, but forget who produces it.  In the interests of full disclosure, I feel that I should also state that I actually have not really tried the slieshow functions in either PS or LR, so am appropriately ignorant on both counts.

So, what should it be?  Should I use Proshow Gold, Photoshop, Lightroom (I am using the Beta 2 via invite), or is there some other software out there that is better purposed to these ends?  Any slideshow superstars care to share their own secrets on software and other tips for making great shows?  Feel free to educate me in the comments.

Meanwhile, happy shooting, watch those apertures, and see you here again tomorrow.  (Perhaps a video tutorial is in the air for then…ya never know! 🙂 )

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4 comments for “Slideshow Secrets

  1. July 15, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    Interesting post, thanks Jason. I’m also interested in seeing what others have to say. I’ve given lots of thought to slideshows and am sometimes unsure about the best software. I’ve used LR’s, but if you export it, it is a PDF WITHOUT sound, which is kind of a bummer.

    I’ve also used Window’s built in feature a bit as well as iPhoto, but haven’t been convinced that those are the best options around.

  2. July 16, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Please consider changing the characters in your page-title:
    It ISN’T possible to save a file with those double-right-brokets in it.

    Instead of saving a copy for off-line reading with your page’s full title,
    ( as I’m now fed-up with cursoring to each broket, deleting it, replacing it with a hyphen )
    now I just delete the entire title before the last bit
    ( so “Canon Blogger – Blog Archive” isn’t in my Study These folder, anymore )

    It also affects bookmarks, on some browsers, BTW.

    Thank you for your helpful contribution, though, yes?

    ( web-mechanics isn’t content: the content is wonderful, the mechanics are slightly borken 🙂



  3. July 16, 2008 at 5:55 am


    Could you send me an email with a little more detail? I am not sure I understand the page title reference you are talking about. I’ll be happy to fix something that is broken, but not sure I understand where it’s broken as the last post had no punctuation, and the title of the blog has no punctuation either. Thanks for the input though, and rest assured, once I understand what is broken, it will be fixed.

  4. July 16, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    FotoMagico is excellent a producing slideshows! It’s from Boinx and is Mac only. Worth switching for!

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